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Naft's... things

A freckle dotting her wrist, hidden in wrinkles. Fold the wrist back, and the freckle disappears - the wrinkles suddenly erasing the spot of sun damage. Wrinkles in space, time. Undoing what was done.

Freckle and wrist, milky white arm, and the thought - is it there to begin with and will it stay or is it a temporary intruder and the wrist folded back is its natural position. Maybe there is no freckle, maybe straightening the wrist is the exception and the wrist up the rule. Freckle and wrist, wrist and freckle.

Oh well.

This has been a post by Rattlesnake.

bring me dat ashe

New General SOTF Discussion Thread
It's also somewhat of a pressure cooker, because you feel like that you've made it this far, so there's the idea that what you're writing needs to be 'worthy' of the placement you're given. I find that whenever I write a post, I'm re-reading it twice over and making edits that I wouldn't have earlier on in the game.

I've always been, for lack of a better word, a YOLO poster. I just hammer it out in the reply box, click send, and go on my merry way. But the longer V5 goes for, the more invested I am in making sure that each post contributes to the story I've written so far and the eventual conclusion is satisfactory.

New General SOTF Discussion Thread
Pacing in roleplay, too, is a weird concept. If I generalize, I can say that most play-by-post RPs are PvE - in that the main group of characters are all together, fighting off an outside force. There's less pressure on you to create a solid voice, and more of an understanding that the group is the important thing, not any one character.

SOTF doesn't have the same standards. Most of our story drama comes from internal strife of what it takes to survive versus external forces - players, player hunters, the terrorists egging you on, etc. Pacing means a completely different thing in a world where you have a chance of your arc completely ending twice every month, so you learn to either set yourself up for a short arc where you can die at any time, or learn to beg profusely for heroes.

I think the best stories in SOTF are stories that could end anytime, thematically. Going back and reading through Nick Reid and Kimberly Ngyuen, they had a narrative style and a story arc that could've absolutely ground to a halt due to rolls at any point, and they still would've been memorable, impactful characters. I think that's what I've learned the most from V5 - hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. If RNGsus decides that your time is up on the island, don't get caught in the open.

I've also learned to be more vocal and constructive in criticsm, as opposed to 'lol ur character is nub an u shuld quit sight'.

Naft makes SotF related images
We're back, baby.

This is a martial arts representation of how I feel The Mad And Hungry Dogs went, ego-wise, for three of the people involved.

Posted Image

Don't Expect Too Much
Brandon Baxter, please. Links to his wiki are in the sig, and his threads SHOULD all be connected

(Do let me know if they aren't, though)

The Society of the Spectacle
Katarina pulled a human shield - was that Claire? - out in front of her, and Hansel weaved out of sight, his foot kicking the shotgun with him. Slamming his back against the brick wall of the buildings that flanked the alleyway, he pushed the rifle behind him again, picked up the Saiga, and checked its safety.

Surprise attack didn't work, but that was okay - he felt like the message was sent.

And if his kill tally was one more in the morning, what really did it matter?

He pushed himself up, walked backwards a dozen paces, kept the shotgun pointed towards the mouth of the alleyway.

When KK didn't emerge, he moved on.

((Hansel Williams, If you've got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow))

The Society of the Spectacle
((Hansel Williams, I Was Once Alive))

There were moments in life where time stood still, a quarter being spun around a tabletop, ridged edge making a whoosh, whoosh, whoosh sound upon wood. Moments that felt like minutes, hours, days - stretched out and played in the imagination, observed, worked over, dissected. Moments like your first kiss, first injury, first home run. Unbelievable moments, magical moments.

Horrifying moments.

One of those moments came for Hansel when he turned, and his eyes met Katarina Konipaski's.

Of all of the names and faces on the island - of all of the threats out there - one name had been constant. One name had been a niggle at the back of his mind, a small zit that ached just enough to remind you it still existed. One syllabic grouping that had his back tighten for every single day it wasn't announced as deceased.

But the name and face had a body, now. The single greatest threat to his chances of survival, here. In the flesh.

Just as quickly, the moment passed, and the shotgun was flung aside, the Winchester came to bear, and Hansel dropped to a crouch, pulling the trigger and hammering the lever in quick, jerky movements, filling the alleyway with thunder and a hail of lead.

I Was Once Alive
As the last echoes of the gunshot faded, and Chris fell to the floor - sans hair, face, and most of his head - Hansel slammed his back into the wall of the alcove, listening. He didn't look at Chris' gun, or stoop to pick it up. He just watched.


When enough time passed by his judgement - when the dim glow of the sun through the windows began to fade, shadows began to shift, his hand became less visible - he figured it safe.

He laid down his bag, his shotgun, his winchester. He gripped Chris' body by the armpits, turned his face from the smell, and dragged him into the hallway, the remainder of his brain leaving a large, wet red trail from the alcove to the hallway.

He stooped down, picking up the nine millimeter handgun, clicking the safety on and studying it. Small, and rounded out his arsenal. Long range, short range, mobility. He had all he needed, now - all he could ever want to beat this thing. His resolve, his mind, food, water, a full med kit, and three guns.

Hansel couldn't explain why the back of his eyes were burning as he slid the gun into the front of his jeans, so that only the handle showed beneath his shirt.

Couldn't explain why he slid down the wall, just to the left of the trail of blood that oozed down and reflected the rapidly diminishing light.

Had no reason to pull his knees up to his chest, the cold metal of the pistol pressing into his stomach, wrap his arms around himself, and bury his head in his forearms.

He let the sudden tears come. He let them mount into wracking sobs that rattled his frame, announced his weakness, to the entire world. It didn't matter that he was judged, that he was measured, that he wouldn't ever live up to a man he kept reaching for but just wasn't able to touch.

All that mattered was that he'd murdered three people today.

All that mattered was that, tomorrow, he'd murder more.

So he allowed himself this moment of weakness to let nine days of hell come pouring out, emptying himself before he had to fill back up.

It was what he had to do.

((Hansel Williams, The Society of the Spectacle))

I Was Once Alive
Hansel shrugged, though the words rooted deeper than he'd have cared to admit. Chris wanted to see the bullet coming. He wanted to die with some sort of honor or something, and project that onto him. That was fine. Hansel wasn't the one about to bite it.

So he shrugged again, lifted the barrel of the gun until it pressed against Chris' forehead, pushed until Chris' mohawk pressed against the back wall of the alcove. Until a little white ring of skin appeared around the barrel.

He cocked the Saiga, watched Chris' eyes - light brown on darker chocolate - memorized the detail in them.

Then, he squeezed the trigger.

I Was Once Alive
So Chris could lie with the barrel of a gun pressing into him. Hansel let the lie stand, nodding as if he believed him, agreeing even though he'd seen someone else with Chris in the distance. It didn't really matter, either way.

There was no point to pretending that this would end any other way than it was going to. Judging by the fear in Chris' eyes - the same fear that Hansel felt when looking in his reflection - Chris knew it as well as he did.

The least he could do was spare him as much as he could.

"Nose t-tuh-hoo the wall, Kuh-riss," he said, taking a step back, "and nuh-no sound, nuh-nuh-no sudden muh-hooves."

I Was Once Alive
It was funny, the things a shotgun pressed to the chin could do to a person. In Chris' case, it froze him, if temporarily.

Hansel moved quickly, hooking the front of Chris' shirt with his two remaining fingers on his left hand and hauling him into the alcove, out of sight of any would-be reinforcements. He pushed Chris against the back wall of the alcove, between the Men's and Ladies' room doors, and pressed the muzzle against Chris' throat.

"Where are your f-friends?" he ground out, watching the other boys' eyes.

I Was Once Alive
((Hansel Williams, I won't be wronged...))

Hansel left the bathroom, his freshly bandaged hand making him feel slightly better, the semi-automatic shotgun in his hands doing even more to contribute to that feeling. He took a moment to get his bearings, before heading towards what he figured the exit was.

He stopped when he saw two figures in the distance, and immediately ducked back into the alcove that led to the ladies' and men's bathrooms, peering around the corner.

He didn't recognize them from this distance.

If they came closer, he'd deal with them. But he was too hurt - too fresh from fight - to go looking for an odd-man combat right now.

I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand-on.
((Hansel Williams, I don't feel we did wrong.))

It looked like there had been a murder in the upper floor bathroom, but Hansel didn't have time to clean up after himself.

The bathroom was large and faux-marble, with two dead lights and a small window where the light still shone strong. Blood covered the counter, the sink bowl, parts of the mirror as he curled his remaining two fingers on his left hand into a fist, his boot stamping lightly when the pain started shooting through his hand.

On the counter stood an open med-kit - Virgil's - and bandage wrappers, gauze, cleaning alcohol, blood stained medical scissors. He'd cut off the skin around his fingers that lay jagged and severed, made it a much cleaner cut - through his own growls of pain and clenched jaw. Next, he'd dabbed at the wound with gauze soaked in alcohol, enduring the bite of the cleansing process.

It wasn't a great job, he thought to himself, studying the bandages that turned his hand into half a club. The actual bandage only covered the bottom half of his hand, to keep his thumb and remaining fingers clear for use. It wouldn't heal very well this way, but he didn't need it to heal.

He just needed to keep it clean for a few more days. Just a few more days, and it wouldn't matter either way - he'd be home, or he'd be dead.

He didn't bother packing the med-kit back up. It was Virgil's, and he still had a full one waiting to be cracked open. He indulged in a bottle of water, finished off the last of his lasagna by picking it up cold and shovelling it into his mouth.

He tried not to think about how the cheese looked like the floor where he'd picked up his fingers - bile, blood, linoleum, all rolled into one.

He tried not to think about how his tally was now eight.

Re-adjusting the stetson on his head, Hansel frowned at his reflection, marred by a patch of wet blood he didn't bother to wipe off.

Long face, crooked nose, bags under dark brown eyes. Thinned out cheeks, marred by a single, still oozing cut that he hadn't bandaged. An unkempt, shaggy cluster of facial hair that seemed patchy and disturbed in the dim light. Sweaty, dirty rings fell into the creases of his neck, soaking the front of his new shirt.

He used to be able to look into glass, and see his father.

Now, his Pa was nowhere to be found. Instead of seeing a strong, confident man, he saw a boy. A confused boy, with missing fingers, wounds and aches, and a fistful of nightmares. A weakening boy, close to a nervous breakdown due to lack of sleep and tightening resolve.

A boy on the verge of going off the edge.

He packed up, leaving the med-kit behind, but tossing his bag and his Winchester over opposing shoulders. In his hands, he cradled the Saiga-12, complete with fresh magazine, and took comfort in it.

Hansel left the bathroom, to find a place to bed down.

To find a place he hopefully wouldn't dream.

((Hansel Williams, I Was Once Alive))

I don't feel we did wrong
All at once, the world slowed back down. Once again, Hansel found himself cradling a gun in a room that stank of sulphur, sweat, and dried blood. He let the rifle fall to his left hand, sighing in relief.

The sigh turned to a gasp of shooting pain as he dropped the rifle, clutching at his left wrist.

It didn't register, at first. It just looked like something different happened to it, his brain registering a cut here, a bruise there, all filmed over with grime. There was blood on it, but he'd just been in a gunfight, and his arm and neck were still bleeding. No real damage, so why did it hurt?

Then he noticed something. Something very, very wrong.

With shaking hands, he turned in a tight circle, his teeth clenching as he scanned the floor for something. He found it, frowned, shook his head.

With his right hand, Hansel reached underneath the counter, pulling out a beige washcloth. Stooping, he collected his ring and pinky finger from the puddle of dark red they were sitting in, like flesh-coloured biscuits in blood scented ice cream. He wrapped them up, slowly, carefully, using two more washcloths to swaddle them in a tight little ball.

The vomit came unexpectedly, and wracked through his system - splashing over the counter, his bag, mixing with his own blood and joining the gunpowder, sweat, and blood in the air in a heady, dizzying cocktail.

When he left Linen and Things, it was on shaky legs.

He cradled his left hand to his chest, carried the Winchester over his right shoulder, the puke-soaked bag over his left. The tight little wad of gorey fingers was nestled safely in his bag, along with Virgil's supplies and ammunition.

In his right hand, he carried the Saiga-12.

He didn't look back.

((Hansel Williams, I won't be wronged. I won't be insulted. I won't be laid a hand-on.))

I don't feel we did wrong
The shotgun blast tore through the countertop, the cash register, erupting in sparks and wood, granite and dust. Hansel felt something wet, something warm, splatter against his arm as he cocked the rifle, fired again.

And again.

And again.

I don't feel we did wrong
Hansel heard the flechettes imbed themselves in the wall as he crouched low, thinking fuck, fuck, oh fuck to himself. He was cornered against an adversary who was in much better shape than he, with a more powerful gun, in close range.

He looked around, desperately searching for something to help him out. He found a stack of magazines - Linen and Things' catalogue, it looked like - that he seized with his left hand, holding the rifle with his right.

He lunged forwards, throwing the stack of magazines towards Virgil as he brought the gun back around, hoping to squeeze off one more shot, hoping that the distraction was enough.

I don't feel we did wrong
The lull in gunfire saw Hansel crouching, reaching into his bag to grab the box of magazines he'd pilfered from Cody, sliding two into his back pocket. Grimacing, he realized that he didn't know how many rounds he had left in the chamber.

No time for that, now. He cocked the gun again, popped up to fire.

Ducked down again as Virgil filled his vision, way too close for comfort.

I don't feel we did wrong
Wood chips and fabric rained down on him as the top half of the table was reduced to rubble. Hansel flinched, covering his head with one of his hands, staggering forwards into a sliding sprint as he dove behind the counter, where the cash register was housed.

He straightened, firing, hammering the lever up, then down, and firing again, trying to keep Virgil in cover while he circled, looking for a line of sight.